Brick and mortar stores disappearing across world


Emma Thompson, Reporter

It’s 2019 and everything is now electronic. You can communicate with people on the opposite side of the world, you have the ability to check your bank account balance on your phone, you can even shop online. But technology comes with struggles and some major difficulties. In this case, technology is a leading contributor to the close of brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Residents have recently seen the closings of Bed Bath & Beyond, K-Mart, and Dillards in Council Bluffs. This is not only leaving people with fewer places to shop, but is also leaving people without jobs.

According to CNBC, more than 140,000 jobs in retail have been lost since January 2017. Another 11,000 jobs were lost in March 2019.

With the “retail apocalypse” upon us, we are led to wonder why this is happening. Why has shopping in-store taken such a substantial drop in sales? The answer is quite a simple one–the sudden rise of online shopping.

According to, there has been a 5.5% drop in brick-and-mortar retail sales since 2018. While their sales were dropping, online retailers grew by 14.2% in the same time frame. 

With online shopping dramatically dominating sales over brick-and-mortar, it raises the question of what makes online shopping so appealing to shoppers. Especially because one of the biggest struggles with online shopping is the uncertainty of what you’re purchasing. Because of this uncertainty, shopping in-store can also be seen as more efficient or reliable.

“In stores, you get to know how it looks on you, you get to know what it actually looks like and you get to see it in person instead of a picture,” said freshman Emily Pomernackas.

It’s becoming more apparent that online stores are seen as more convenient and efficient seeing as they are open all hours of the week and you don’t have to wait in any type of long line. The appeal factor is most definitely there. 

“It’s more time-efficient and you can do it pretty much anywhere,” said Pomernackas.

Depending on if you’re shopping in either a physical shop or online, both have its positives and negatives. Yet people are still choosing the comfortable and convenient method of shopping, even if it means leaving people without an income.